You can start from Casuarina Sands or Kambah Pool, both of which are located in the south western part of the city of Canberra
You can finish at Casuarina Sands or Kambah Pool, both of which are located in the south western part of the city of Canberra
Year round but try to avoid the extreme hot days or start early in the morning
The Casuarina Sands to Kambah Pool walk is part of the longer 27.5 km Murrumbidgee Discovery Track and for me this section was both the most enjoyable part of the walk as well as the most difficult. More on this in a minute.
While you can start this walk at the Casuarina Sands Recreation area or the Kambah Pool end, my preference is to start at Casuarina Sands. Strangely enough this is the harder option but I just find the flow of scenery makes more sense. Having said that the Casuarina Sands Recreation Area is a much larger and more developed area having good barbecue, toilet and picnic areas as well as a much larger car park area so is a better option for a lunch break if you are doing this as an ‘out and back’ walk (28 km).
This trail is not as widely used ast the Kambah Pool to Pine Island Trail and as such the trail tread is a bit more natural and a bit more overgrown but with this there is a more remote feeling that creates a more enjoyable hike. As mentioned, this is not an easy walk and really has nothing to do with the 13.7 km length but rather the gradient of the walk which is pretty much upwards from Casuarina Sands to the end point at Kambah Pool.
The biggest surprise for me on this walk was how green the Murrumbidgee River corridor was despite the extremely dry conditions in the rest of the territory. The bushland either side of the river is certainly struggling like the rest of southern Australia, but it just had a lushness to the northern section that was unique. This additional lushness also showed up with the wildlife -the kangaroos, wombats and wallabies were very big and healthy.
Speaking of wildlife, there was so much along this trail. Kangaroos, wombats, wallabies and birdlife were everywhere whereas a number of other walks I have done around the city at this time were devoid of life due to the lack of water. The views along this trail are also excellent from both river level and from up high up, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take a break to take these in at any altitude.
Signage on this trail is very good with small directional arrows and distance markers located every 200 metres. However at a couple of locations where a turn is required, you are presented with a choice and it’s not always clear which direction you should head. The other issue with this trail is that the vegetation along the edge of some sections is very close which is fine during dry weather but if it’s been raining you are likely to get wet clothing. Having said that the vegetation is what makes this such a great walk. Given how dry it was when I walked this trail, it was so surprising to have this lush green corridor full of wildlife when the rest of the neighbouring areas were so dry.
This hike finishes at the Kambah Pool Recreation Area. If you are feeling enthusiastic you can turn around and head back to Casuarina Sands or alternatively you can do a car shuffle to make this an end to end walk. This is definitely one to add to the list and has become one of my favourite Canberra based walks.
Casuarina sands toilets and barbecues
Trailhead signage at Casuarina Sands Reserve located at the end of the car park near the main barbecue area
Choose your own adventure stoping and starting along this long walk
Big male kangaroo just minding his own business and not too bothered about me being there
Trail marking arrows
Water pipe at the Cotter which helps to feed Canberra’s water supply
Trail example. The trail moves from closed-in to open as it moves along the Murrumbidgee River
This trail is not heavily used so is more closed in than the sections past Kambah Pool
Grevillea in flower. This was the most common flower at the time I did this walk
Stile along the trail
Looking back towards the Cotter Dam
A typical example of the trail looking down towards the Murrumbidgee River
Kangaroos on the trail. I’m just glad I was taking a break
Bridge along the trail
Turn to the right. It’s not as obvious as it should be
Lunchtime Creek! Not really – its infested with blackberries
Looking down to the Murrumbidgee River once we had angled back up towards the road where there are parking and toilet facilities
Toilet facilities at Kambah Pool
Northern trail head at Casuarina Sands is around 22 km from the Canberra GPO and around a 30 minute drive
Turn off to Casuarina Sands
Turn left on entry
Heading into the trail head car park
Southern trail head at Kambah Pool
Kambah Pool entry for the southern trail head
Kambah Pool car park
Closing time. The Kambah Pool car park doesn’t have 24 hour access so be aware if you are starting this walk early or doing a night hike
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker